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Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(11):3602-11. Epub 2007 May 7.

Dynamics of filamentous viral RNPs prior to egress.

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Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, 313 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


The final step in the maturation of paramyxoviruses, orthomyxoviruses and viruses of several other families, entails the budding of the viral nucleocapsid through the plasma membrane of the host cell. Many medically important viruses, such as influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Ebola, can form filamentous particles when budding. Although filamentous virions have been previously studied, details of how viral filaments bud from the plasma membrane remain largely unknown. Using molecular beacon (MB)-fluorescent probes to image the viral genomic RNA (vRNA) of human RSV (hRSV) in live Vero cells, the dynamics of assembled viral filaments was observed to consist of three primary types of motion prior to egress from the plasma membrane: (i) filament projection and rotation, (ii) migration and (iii) non-directed motion. In addition, from information gained by imaging the 3D distribution of cellular vRNA, observing and characterizing vRNA dynamics, imaging vRNA/Myosin Va colocalization, and studying the effects of cytochalasin D (actin depolymerizing agent) exposure, a model for filamentous virion egress is presented.

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